to explode a sprint train
The sprint at the end of the UAE Tour Women was wild and unexpected, so I'm going to rant about it with blurry screengrabs from GCN+.
1.7km (to go)
The FDJ train owned the front until about this point. They don't have a sprinter so I don't know why they were driving it. Keeping everybody safe at the front? No idea.
Movistar takes over for them on the right, leading out Emma Norsgaard with Liane Lippert sweeping.
The SD Worx “train” is visible in the bottom left, but it's just Barbara Guarischi bringing Lorena Wiebes up to the front. DSM's train is coming up from the bottom right.
I generally love the on-bike cameras, but in a sprint finish I feel like they leave me wondering what just happened. Anyway, Wiebes is still moving to the front, passing the Uno-X train and Audrey Cordon-Ragot's team that is not B&B Hotels.
Everybody gets around the final right-hand corner without incident. FDJ is still drilling it, followed by Norsgaard and Lippert for Movistar, followed by SD Worx and DSM. One of the Movistar train just pulled off to the right, forcing Canyon-SRAM around the outside. A couple other SD Worx jerseys are visible behind DSM, but they're not involved in the leadout.
Wiebes and Pfeiffer Georgi (last woman for DSM) fight for Guarischi's wheel a little bit. Wiebes wins, but it doesn't matter because Grace Brown (FDJ) pulls off and splits the field:
DSM and Movistar stay left, SD Worx goes right, Human Powered Health and UAE Team ADQ come forward on the right side.
Everybody's back together. HPH is taking over the front from Gladys Verhulst, the last FDJ rider. Norsgaard is on Verhulst, and Guarischi is about sixth wheel with Wiebes. At the very bottom, you can see Kool has lost Georgi's wheel and latched onto Wiebes. Georgi is coming around Guarischi on the left.
At this point there's a slight right-hand bend and the camera swaps to the front view. Right before the view changes, the bunch starts churning, and you can see Guarischi start to swing left with Wiebes:
Guarischi kicks hard into the gap between Ceratizit-WNT and DSM:
but Wiebes gets separated and ends up behind both of them:
Guarischi looks behind, realizes Wiebes isn't there, and starts trying to find her:
Meanwhile, Georgi has also lost Kool and picked up Wiebes, so she sits up and looks around too:
With both Guarischi and Georgi done, Wiebes is in the wind and has no choice.
Wiebes passes Georgi, winding up her sprint. Kool is about fourth wheel, bottom left, and she surfs off Uno-X and Movistar.
Wiebes gets some separation, but 250m is way too early for this kind of nonsense. Kool stays mostly protected until about 100m, when she kicks:
And I won't say it because I'm pretty sure @firstname.lastname@example.org has it literally trademarked, but:
ok what does it MEAN
I'm not sure this one means anything besides Lorena Wiebes has a match this season, at least for now. We're gonna have some fun sprints.
- DSM has the best leadout in the peloton, but they got a bit lost, and then a bit lucky. It's early, and everybody's reconfiguring.
- Wiebes did not stay on Guarischi's wheel. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but she's so experienced I have a hard time imagining it was an accident. Guarischi was swinging right a bit, maybe Wiebes liked Georgi's line better?
- Kool did a stellar job staying protected while threading through the disintegrating bunch to make it back up to Wiebes.
Between real competition in the sprints and real competition on the 10km climb from Stage 3, I'm loving the increased specialization that's possible when world-class athletes can also be full-time athletes.
#cycling #proCycling #UAETourWomen #womenCycling